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kelly ayotte, who has threatened to block a rice nomination, joins us ahead. and powerball fever sweeping the nation. the jackpot now jumps to $500 million. the second highest in lottery history. what would you do with your winning ticket. >> i would take my entire family on a cruise around the world. >> a sports car for me. >> aston martin. >> i'll pinch myself. >> i would pinch myself too. good day, i'm andrea mitchell live in washington. thanks for joining us. you can bet this is not the way mitt romney had hoped to get to the white house. instead of measuring the drapes in the oval office he'll be the president's guest for lunch. their first meeting since that last debate. joining me now for our daily fix, chris cizilla, msnbc contributor and managing editor of post politics.com and from "usa today" susan page. what do you think is on the menu? >> some people on twitter when i tweeted out suggest crow might be served. look, this is, i think, there's no press coverage. this is not closed press. there is no press coverage. a private meeting between the two of them. i think it's
. we are hearing it did not. lindsey graham, senator mccain and kelly ayotte said they are more concerned than before she came up to capitol hill to offer her explanation, and her changing story, not just her changing story but that of the administration. we are awaiting press secretary jay karen see and a comment on today's meeting. the conventional wisdom is they sent her up there to smooth over the waters before president obama nominates her. but they did not take miss rice's answers too well. >> i want to say i'm more troubled today knowing, having met with the acting director of the cia and ambassador rice, because it is certainly clear from the beginning that we knew that those with ties to al-qaida were involved in the attack on the embassy, and clearly the impression that was given and the information given to the american people was wrong. megyn: senator kelly ae ayotte will join us live next hour. this will be her first public interview since she sat down with miss rice this morning. what exactly did ambassador rice say behind closed doors? why is senator yea a yeah at
lindsey graham, kelly ayotte and -- >> they were upset. john mccain over the weekend. >> john mccain backed up. >> so it's really cool when she said i'm sorry. >> she did the brave thing and went right in there and said i want to -- >> how did that work. >> and talked about her initial account of the attack and explained to them she was relying on faulty intelligence and talking points from the intelligence community. >> they said? >> they said, you know what, we still don't get it. >> throw the video. >> we are significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got and some that we didn't get. it is clear that the information that she gave the american people was incorrect. >> bottom line, i'm more disturbed now than i was before. >> if you don't know what happened just say you don't know what happened. people can push you to give explanations and i want to say -- >> i'm more troubled today knowing having met with the acting director of the cia and ambassador rice. clearly the impression that was given, the information given to the american people was wrong, in fact, ambassad
, and kelly ayott, all had vowed to block her nomination after what she said about the deadly attack on americans on n benghazi, libya. here's what graham said moments ago when the meeting came to a close. >> if you don't know what happened, just say you don't know what happened. people can push you to give explanations and you can say i don't want to give bad information. here's what i can tell you -- the american people got bad information on 16, september. they got bad information from president obama days after. and the question is should they have been giving the information at all. if you can do nothing but give bad information, isn't it better to give no information at all? >> ah. let's go straight to cnn's dana bash. so before we heard that pretty explosive news conference, it seemed as though there was a bit of a softening of some of the gop's opposition to ms. rice's moving up in the president's cabinet. now after hearing that, i need to get some clarity if i can from you about whether the criticism is about ms. rice and what she delivered to the american people, which turn
director mike morrell met with john mccain, lindsey graham and kelly ayotte over what rice knew the in the days after the deadly consulate attack in benghazi. all three claim to be more troubled after this meeting. >> we're significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got and some that we didn't get. >> bottom line, i'm more disturbed now than i was before that the 16th september explanation about how four americans died by ambassador rice, i think, does not do justice to the reality at the time. >> clearly the impression that was begin, the information begin to the american people was wrong. in fact, ambassador rice said today, absolutely, it was wrong. >> and within the past hour the white house once again defended ambassador rice. >> focus on some might say obsession made on comments made on sunday shows seems, to me, and to many, to be misplaced. >> and the ambassador herself made this statement only a short time ago. it read in part, quote, i appreciated the opportunity to discuss these issues directly and structurive wi them. the administration remains committed t
cain, lindsey graham from john mccain, lindsey graham and kelly ayotte after their meeting with ambassador rice. >> we are significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got. >> bottom line, i'm more disturbed now than before. >> i'm more troubled today. >> senator mccain's embarrassing past with libya includes a meeting in tripoli in 2009 with gadhafi to discuss the possible delivery of military equipment to that dictator at his side at that meeting, as usual of course, was lindsey graham. also joining him was senator joe lieberman. today sh after meeting with ambassador rice, joe lieberman chose not to join the baseless criticism of ambassador rice. >> based on what she has said as clearly as possible, backed up by the director of the cia, i think it wouldn't be fair to disqualify her based on what she said. >> ambassador rice released this statement after meeting with the republican senators. while we certainly wish we had >> ambassador rice released this statement after meeting with the republican senators. joining me now, msnbc's karen finney and howard fineman. howard, what is your
were saying one of the issues -- >> bill: is that honey bear kelly ayotte? >> no. not honey bear kelly ayotte. we were saying one of the issues would be if obama was to appoint john kerry then scott brown might weasel his way back into the senate. honey bear kelly says scott brown just lost an election. does anyone think he can win one now? that's a valid point. he's a loser. >> bill: what do you think of the campaign against susan rice? >> i have found it incredibly offensive. you are talking about a rhodes scholar, somebody who has 20 plus years in the diplomatic corps. also what that person tweeted. we're in the middle of major international issues. she's dealing with syria gaza, the congo. she's still our representative to the united nations. so while we're talking this foolishness about her appearance on a tv talk show, what signal is that sending to the rest of the world? i do think they've got themselves backed in a corner now. i think the other agenda going on is the senate race. so i think that it needs
mccain, lindsey graham, kelly ayotte. she will be back up there today to meet with other senators. the deadline from yesterday's meetings is that those three are still not satisfied. kelly ayotte says she will try to block the conversation of susan rice or another nominee to succeed the departing secretary of state clinton until more information is given on the benghazi attacks in libya. also, france to go in favor of bid.tinians's u.n. the french government said it would vote in favor of the palestinians ' bid of non- member status. how would you fix your school system? we have a couple minutes left. larry in jackson, mississippi, independent. caller: good morning. newly appointed superintendent, i met with yesterday. we have 30,000 students and 2000 are homeless. 70% of our schools in the city, i visited alternative schools where we had the bus driver and security guards running the alternative schools. we have teachers who are failing these students and failed those students' parents and grandparents. they've been in the school system's 25 for 30 years. we accept this. we fired
cain, lindsey graham, and kelly ayotte criticized explanations rice given in the past and obviously today and on the attack in benghazi the meeting doesn't appear to help smooth away for rice's widely anticipated nomination as secretary of state. here is senator ayotte moments ago ago. >> when you have a position where your ambassador to the united nations you go well beyond unclassified talking points in your daily preparations and responsibilities for that job and that is troubling to me. jenna: kelly wright, live in washington with more. kelly, the three senators just held the news briefing which we played a little bit from kelly ayotte. tell us generally what was their response? what sort of reaction they had to what they heard inside that closed-door meeting? >> reporter: let's stay on focus on that because that is really telling. each senator saw the tone being stunned by the information they heard in this closed-door meeting with u.n. ambassador susan rice. they are significantly troubled they say, more than that ever, which means there are more questions than answers as a result o
. it's sur just, megyn. they had that initial ferocious opposition by lindsey graham and kelly ayotte and john mccain, a big press conference and really took a stance. the administration decides to send her up to try to repair things. they come out of the meeting, she obviously didn't graduate from any washington charm school, because even kelly ayotte it looked like they had just lost their best friend after that meeting. they were not happy. then there is another round of meetings and cork eri corker is saying he should withdraw the nomination. megyn: he said she would make a better dnc chair, that is debbie wasserman schultz job. >> it seems like a classic obama set up of the republicans. this is a way to bring up the whole war on women, meaning that republicans really don't understand women, look they don't have any female chairmen of their committees on capitol hill. they didn't get any of the female vote, and they just don't get it. they are doing this to this poor woman, and she is a great person and a great public servant. to me it seems like there is a political reason for co
on the benghazi consulate. she'll be meeting with john mccain, lindsey graham, and kelly ayott. we're keeping our eye on that and we will keep you posted. music is a universal language. but when i was in an accident... i was worried the health care system spoke a language all its own with unitedhealthcare, i got help that fit my life. information on my phone. connection to doctors who get where i'm from. and tools to estimate what my care may cost. so i never missed a beat. we're more than 78,000 people looking out for more than 70 million americans. that's health in numbers. unitedhealthcare. >>> a state senator from idaho is now getting behind a plan that's been circulating on tea party blogs. calling for states that supported mitt romney to refuse to participate in the electoral college. a move they believe would change the results of the election. it's the kind of radical talk that turned off a lot of voters in the last election, but the wall street journal reports, they are regrouping, searching for candidates who can win in 2014. i'm joined by amy cramer who is chair of the tea party expres
cain, lindsay graham and kelly ayotte. mccain now willing to hear her side of the story. >> i will be glad to meet with her and listen to her positions and justification for her comments but i'm -- i'm very unhappy with her performance. >> reporter: graham is also looking forward to hearing from rice. >> there will be a lot of questions asked of her about this event and others. >> reporter: ayotte told cnn that rice's staff contacted her about the meeting. she believes it will focus on rice's, quote, representations of what happened at benghazi. rice is considered a top pick to replace secretary of state hillary clinton who said she will leave her post when a replacement is found. mccain, graham and ayotte all said they would block any effort to advance rice if she is nominated. i'm ed payne, reporting. >> later this week rice will meet with acting cia director mike morrell as well as senator susan collins of maine the top republican on the homeland security committee. >>> more republicans say the looming "fiscal cliff" is forcing them to reconsider their no tax pledges. some are now open
:30 on the east coast and there is senator kelly ayotte as she walks into a very important meeting this morning after a couple of months of controversy over this u.s. ambassador susan rice is about to face her toughest republican critics on benghazi. this is a live shot on the interiors and escalators of capitol hill this morning. ambassador rice will sit down with senators john mccain, senator lindsay graham and senator kelly ayotte who you saw moments ago. republicans say ambassador rice intentionally or unintentionally misled americans when she went on those five sunday talk shows and said that the murders that happened to the u.s. ambassador and three others were simply the outburst of a spontaneous mob in reaction to a video. we're joined by ambassador john bolton who held the post formerly, as u.n. ambassador to the u.n. and he joins us this morning. >> good morn being, martha. glad to be with you. martha: there are a couple of issues why ambassador rice was put in that position in the first place. but the first question they will put to her is who told you to say that, right? >> right. s
explained that her initial account was wrong because: senator kelly ayotte, republican of new hampshire, says rice should have known better. >> but one of her responsibilities as ambassador to the u.n. she receives daily intelligence briefings and certainly confirmed today that she had received the briefing-- the briefings leading up to this that were on a classified basis. >> reporter: the white house hasn't said when or if rice will get the nomination. but in a news conference two weeks ago, mr. obama seemed to be preparing for a fight. >> if senator john mccain and senator graham and others want to go after somebody they should go after me. and i'm happy to have that discussion with them. >> reporter: senator ayotte said she would be willing to put a hold on a rice nomination which, under senate rules, means it would likely never come up for approval and effectively be dead. scott? >> pelley: margaret, thank you. who is susan rice? she held several positions in the collation on the national security council as an expert on african affairs and then as assistant secretary of state. ric
critics yesterday. rice had requested a meeting with senators lindsey graham, john mccain and kelly ayotte. >> how did that go? >> it didn't go well. after they accused of ambassador of misleading the country, rice reiterated that she relied on faulty talking points from the intelligence community. but the senators still were not satisfied. >> we are significantly troubled pie ma by many of the answers that we got and some that we didn't get. it is clear that the information that she gave the american people was incorrect. >> bottom line, i'm more disturbed now than i was before. if you didn't know what happened, just say you don't know what happened. people can push you to give explanations and you can say i don't want to give bad information. >> i'm more troubled today knowing having met with the acting director of the cia and ambassador rice. clearly the impression that was given, the forgiven to the american people, was wrong. ambassador rice said today absolutely it was wrong.forgive american people, was wrong. ambassador rice said today absolutely it was wrong. >> ambassador rice was
.s. consulate in benghazi. rice will sit down with senators john mccain, lindsey graham, and kelly ayotte. >> that should be fun. >> that could be really awkward. they all accuse her of misleading the country in her initial account of the attack. in recent days, senator mccain has softened his criticism, and rice insists that she was relying on talking points from the intelligence community. last night senator graham rejected her defense but says he's open to today's meeting. >> she asked to meet with us, and i will listen to what she has to say about her role in benghazi, but i can tell you this. the more i know about benghazi, the more upset i am that the consulate was even open on september 11th. when you look at the history and the reporting coming out of libya about the dangers, it should never have been open or heavily reinforced. after the attack, i think the story we were told about a spontaneous event caused by video where a mob turned into a riot is less credible than ever. >> smart of her to call the meeting. acting cia director michael morrell will accompany rice during today'
john mccain, lindsey graham and kelly ayotte have been vocal critics of rice, accusing the ambassador of misleading the public when she said five days after the deadly benghazi attack there was no evidence it was preplanned. >> we are going to get to the bottom of this. we have to have a system we can trust. and if you don't know what happened, just say you don't know what happened. >> reporter: rice needs the senate's support if president obama chooses her to become the next secretary of state. ambassador rice met with lawmakers in a secure room behind this group of cameras here on capitol hill to discuss classified information. an aide to senator john mccain tells cbs news she requested the meeting. afterwards, rice issued a statement saying the talking points the intelligence community gave her were incorrect and that at no time did she or anyone in the obama administration intend to mislead the american people. the white house worked to reinforce that tuesday. >> ambassador rice has no responsibility for collecting, analyzing and providing intelligence. >> reporter: acting cia dir
. senators john mccain, lindsey graham and kelly ayotte say they're even more troubled now after meeting with ambassador rice. the attack on libya on september 11 killed the u.s. ambassador, cries stevens and three other americans. five days later, ambassador rice went on the sunday talk shows and said u.s. officials believed it was a spontaneous reaction to protest over an anti-islam video. not a preplanned terrorist attack. first the controversy was over whether the white house made the change in the talking points. but that's past because intelligence officials say they gave ambassador rice those talking points. today senator graham called the information disconnected from reality. >> not only is the information bad and i'm more convinced than ever that it was bad, it was unjustified to give the scenario as presented by ambassador rice and president obama three weeks before an election. >> shepard: rice said while we wish we had had perfect information, just days after the terrorist attack, as is often the case, the intelligence assessment has evolved. neither i nor anyone else in the
the benghazi attack. senator john mccain, lindsey graham, kelly ayotte of new hampshire met privately with her today. it did not go well. listen. >> bottom line, i'm more disturbed now than i was before. information given the american people was wrong. ambassador rice said it was wrong and to be clear, if you are an ambassador to the united nations you go well beyond the unclassified talking points in the daily preparation for that job. >> we are significantly troubled by the answers that many got. some we didn't get. >> she had no intention to mislead the american people. >> the white house blames the critics. listen. >> the focus on some might say the obsession on comments made on sunday shows seems to me and to many to be misplaced. >> the national shows get too much attention. are you surprised that ambassador rice didn't have a better explanation for her interview? >> dana: i got home last night and checked e-mail for the last time and saw she will have a meeting. i said they have it wrapped up. go in and smooth it over. you should have these things organized before you go to a meeting. y
graham, john mccain, kelly ayotte who said we respectfully disagree with the white house statement that there are no unanswered question about ambassador rice's sunday appearance. they talk about the acting director of the c.i.a. saying that the c.i.a., the f.b.i. removes the references to al-qaeda in the talking points. to ple vent compromising and ongoing criminal investigation. they say, the senators say at 4:00 this afternoon, the c.i.a. officials contacted us and indicated that the acting director morrell misspoke in the earlier meeting and the c.i.a. says it deleted the al-qaeda reference, not the f.b.i. and unable to give us a reason why. one thing also about the al-qaeda being taken out, it was not just the five sunday shows blaminth spontaneous demonstration there wasn't, never a demonstration. susan rice said this. >> president obama said running for president he'd row focus our effort on al-qaeda. we decimateed al-qaeda. usama bin laden is gone. we decimateed al-qaeda. usama bin laden is dead. he said that al-qaeda was decimated in both interviews so that was a misleadin
, kelly ayotte. they have been critical of rice's initial explanation on the sunday talk shows on what was behind the september attack that killed four americans including ambassador chris stevens. here is senator lindsey graham's reaction after that meeting. >> bottom line, i'm more disturbed now than i was before that the 16 september explanation about how four americans died in benghazi, libya, by ambassador rice, i think does not do justice to the reality at the time, and in hindsight clearly was completely wrong. but here's the key, in real time it was a statement disconnected from reality. >> dana bash, let me bring you in, our senior congressional correspondent. you were there among the reporters and producers there as we saw the three senators. prior to today's closed door meeting, it sounded like the three were softening, right, their criticism of the ambassador. what happened in that meeting to change their minds? >> reporter: well, i talked to some of the senators in that meeting and basically they said publicly right at that stake out that they believe that -- that she didn
with his shadow, lindsey graham, and their new third amigo, new hampshire senator kelly ayotte, they released a joint statement today, praising the cease-fire declaration, but then adding were for good measure, quote, what happens in the middle east will impact america's vital national security interests for the foreseeable future and stronger, smarter american leadership is desperately needed. smarter leadership! take it from john mccain. remember, john mccain's big idea on foreign policy at the moment is that we should not have a secretary of state at all right now. john mccain suggesting that he will personally block anybody from being confirmed as secretary of state in the second term of the obama administration, because according to john mccain, u.n. ambassador susan rice, who's a likely candidate for secretary of state, she once said something wrong on the sunday shows. in the days after the attack on the u.s. consulate in benghazi, back in september, susan rice went on the sunday shows and gave the administration's intelligence agency-approved talking points, explaining
of maine as well as wisconsin' ron johnson, mark kurt, rob portman, pat toomi, marco rubio and kelly ayotte. nevada's dean heller was the only to win in a blue state in the 2012 cycle. he narrow will he won over shelly berkeley despite the president winning the state by six. they have a none of the above. susan collins was the only other senator on the list to face voters while president obama was on the ballot. she won her third it term in 2008. the other seven were all elected or re-elected in the big republican wave of 2010. could republicans take back some of that territory in 2014 is this joining me now political analyst and editor and publisher of the cook political report, charlie cook. charlie, we have a senate announcement today. this is happenstance. we planned this last week and we can talk about 2014 and jay rockefeller. >> at least shelly capito had the decency to wait until after thanksgiving. >> mike brown announced two weeks ago he was running in 2014. >> see, i wasn't paying attention then. >> fair enough. is this all chalked up to bad recruiting by the republicans, the suc
to discuss the incidents with senators john mccain, lindsey graham and kelly ayotte. rice initially blamed them on protests triggered by a film. the man behind that movie is speaking out about the backlash for the first time. he tells "the new york times" he has no regrets. he's back in prison after violating his probation on a bank fraud conviction. >>> new york city mayor bloomberg is asking congress for $9.8 billion to clean up the mess left behind by hurricane sandy. he said it's needed to pay for costs not covered by fema and insurance companies. wolf. >> thank you. >>> come ing up we told you abo a town in california mired in corruption charges that left taxpayers outraged. it's where a former police chief fa nagled a salary for himself of nearly half a million dollars. you won't believe what he's doing now. he wants more money from the city. we're keeping them honest next. [ male announcer ] with over 50 delicious choices of green giant vegetables it's easy to eat like a giant... ♪ and feel like a green giant. ♪ ho ho ho ♪ green giant anyone have occasional constipation, diarr
cain and kelly ayotte and lindsey graham saying why did she say the things she said? the only advance we had is the intelligence community said she said exactly what we told her to say. we knew it was an attack, and we told her not to say because we didn't want al qaeda to know we knew it at that point. the real question is why is mccain making this attack and wasting whatever political capital and reputation he has left? >> reporter: well, some people are wondering does mccain want to simply stay in the spotlight? mccain is known for foreign policy. he's known for going on sunday shows. the benghazi issue gets him back in the spotlight. everyone is talking about john mccain again. so some people wonder if there's a little bit of political opportunism there. >> i want to go back to something krystal said a minute ago. closing ranks behind susan rice because much political battle lines in this. you made the point earlier if you just looked at this without regard to benghazi and said john mccain realistically speaking, who potentially could appoint secretary of state that would agree ideologic
of her most outspoken critics, republican senators john mccain, lindsey graham, and kelly ayotte to set the record straight. rice had gone on five sunday talk shows days after the attack and called it a spontaneous demonstration sparked by an antimuslim film and did not mention the link to al qaeda. after all this taking on her critics, the republican senators weren't impressed. >> bottom line, i'm more dist b disturbed now than i was before that the 16 september explanation about how four americans died in benghazi, libya, by ambassador rice, i think does not do justice to the reality at the time and in hindsight clearly was completely wrong. >> rice maintains she did nothing wrong. issuing a statement saying we stressed that neither i nor anyone else in the administration intended to mislead the american people at any stage of this process. peter brooks is a former deputy assistant secretary of defense, general wesly clark and, of course, former democratic presidential candidate. senator mccain was asked who do you blame more at this point? ambassador rice or president obama? he says
not suffer fools badly. these were make nice meetings that didn't seem to go so well, correct? kelly ayotte known as a particular fire brand but came out with very, very strong language and said she would put a hold on susan rice's nomination. >> look, two things were surprising here. number one, a visit like this when you're actually not the nominee to be secretary of state, is a little odd. we were talking with other reporters earlier and no one can really remember these types of diplomatic visits for someone not officially nominated. after the criticism of rice softened this past weekend a lot of us expected this would be a get nice pow wow. it turned out to be awfully different, alex, and going forward it seems like the gop has centered on this is going to be their battle, their political battle, they feel they can score at lot of points on and the question comes back to how much capital is the white house willing to spend. i want to leave you with one scenario before i cut off. if john kerry is nominated to be secretary of state, there's a special election in massachusetts, duval patri
cain and lindsay graham and kelly ayotte could hardly have gone worse. they were more inflamed about rice's early public comments about the benghazi, libya attack than they had been before that meeting. cnn's dana bash has been watching all of this prenomination confrontation drama and joins us now to talk about this. i know you're trying to wrangle an interview and make sure you catch the senators as they emerge from the meetings. dana, it might sound to some as though some of the critics of ambassador rice feel differently about what they're criticizing. they don't all seem to be in lock step or at least have the same complaints. >> reporter: that's true. no question that there are different levels of issues that senators are upset about. i have to tell you the reason i'm on the phone now is because i'm waiting for a very important meeting that susan rice is having as we speak to wrap up and that is with senator susan collins. why is it important? because if she is nominated to be secretary of state and assuming that the republicans she met with yesterday stand by their desire to block her nomi
kelly ayotte out there with no foreign policy experience because even they understand going after this woman, going after this -- another african-american official in the obama white house, i know it's unpopular to say, but they seem to have a pattern that isn't helpful politically so i don't see what the margin is. >> senator ayotte has political m a bigg ambition. >> and she's a woman. >> our power panel, my thanks to all three of you. >>> we are waiting for remarks from president obama who is expected to speak from the white house within the half hour. the president surrounded by middle-class americans as he intends to build up his support to avert the impending fiscal cliff. >> the mandate that the president has, and i think he said this after the election, is to protect the middle class and help people enter and stay in the middle class. >> mitch mcconnell once again blasted the president for what he called campaigning. >> the election's over. he won. congratulations. we've got a hard deadline here, however. and it's still -- he's still out on the campaign trail kind of celeb
, will meet with mccain, senators lindsey graham and kelly ayotte on capitol hill. now that mccain is open to the idea of hearings from rice, he's allegedly and he's alleging a white house cover-up on the matter, of course, a narrative already being pushed big-time on fox news. fox of course, has devoted countless hours of air time to the benghazi storybooking guests to channel the conspiracy theory. but today something rare happened. fox news invited pulitzer prize winning journalist thomas risk to share his thoughts about the whole thing. he reports the truth for a living. needless to say his interview was cut short. >> senator john mccain has said in the past he would block any attempt to nominate susan rice to become u.n., i'm sorry, secretary of state. she's currently the u.n. ambassador. he seems to be backing away from that. what do you make of it? >> i think that benghazi generally was hyped by this network especially and that now that the campaign is over, i think he's backing off a little bit. they're not going to stop susan rice from being secretary of state. >> when the you the
. there are unanswered questions. i think john mccain, lindsay gram, kelly ayotte understand it was not susan rice's responsibility but she was the one -- even though she had nothing to do with it, the administration sent her out to paragraphrot talking points that were inaccurate. there were breaches of security, pleas for help that went unanswered, breaches of protocol and four dead americans that were representing all of us. what john mccain and lindsey graham wants are answers. today is a good path, good step toward getting some answers and a step in the right direction. >> so, maria cardona, our democratic strategist, we just had an election. people want democrats and republicans to get along. susan rice clearly is embattled, the source of controversy. should president obama still nominate her as his secretary of state? >> i think he should, if that's what he believes is the best thing for the country. look, she has been an outstanding public servant both at the u.n. and serving under the clinton administration in a national security role. there's no question about that. and i think what -- i
harshest gop critics. those senators, john mccain, lindsey graham, kelly ayotte, were not satisfied, they said, with the ambassador's explanation for her comments following the benghazi consulate attack. cnn foreign affairs reporter elise labott has more details for us. she's in washington, d.c. this morning. elise, good morning. >> hey, soledad. well, what came out in those meetings and why senators say they're even more concerned, centers around the information that the cia had just after the attack about possible involvement in the benghazi attack that killed ambassador chris stevens and those three other americans. now, ambassador rice did not make reference to this information in her talk show appearances. the unclassified talking points she used were provided by the cia, were stripped of these references to al qaeda, because the information was classified and couldn't be delivered in public. now, after the meeting, ambassador rice acknowledged those talking points turned out to be incorrect. but that she stressed she and the administration never meant to mislead the american p
closed doors with three of her most vocal critics, republican senator john mccain, kelly ayotte and lindsey graham talking behind closed doors to discuss classified material. the acting director of the cia, mike morel, is helping her answer questions and will accompany her to other meetings on the hill this week. an aide to mccain tells cbs news that rice requested this meeting last week and it could be decisive. if she answers mccain's questions to his satisfaction, he says he would support her nomination. >> margaret, what do you think those questions will be from the senators that they want answered? >> reporter: charlie, there are a lot of them. specifically senator mccain has said he wants ambassador rice to explain why she did not mention that within 24 hours of the assault in benghazi that the intelligence community knew that there were links to al qaeda. as you remember, in five different television appearances, she said there was no evidence that the attack was preplanned. now senator mccain has said she misled the public. ambassador rice says she
. rice will sit down with senators john mccain, lindsey graham, and kelly ayott. in recent days, senator mccain has softened his criticism as rice insists that she was relying on talking points from the intelligence community. last night, senator graham rejecting her defense but says he's open to today's meeting. >> she asked to meet with us and now we'll listen to what she has to say about her role in benghazi. the more i know about benghazi, the more upset i am that the consulate was even open on september 11th. when you look at the history and the reporting coming out of libya about the dangers, it should never have been open or heavily reinforced. after the attack, i think the story we were told about a spontaneous event caused by video where a mob turned into a riot is less credible than ever. >> she reportedly called the meeting. seems like a smart move. what do you think? >> well, i think it's a smart move for john mccain to take the meeting. they're boxed in. this is not a fight they want right now. it was a stupid fight to pick. they put themselves into a corner and now they've
and kelly ayotte. and those meetings as we first reported to you yesterday did not appear to go very well. chief intelligence correspondent catherine herridge is live in washington with more. >> reporter: thank you, jenna. ambassador rice is meeting two more republicans senators bob corker and susan collins. you're looking at stakeout position on capitol hill. ambassador rice is expected to meet with six senators. if she is nominated as next secretary of state she will need six republicans to vote for her to region the magic number of 60 for confirmation. so far republicans are not convinced. >> yesterday in talking to some of those to whom she talked i'm absolutely convinced in my mind bill, she is part of the cover-up. she knew all the time the cia information that was given to her. >> reporter: senators graham, mccain and ayotte tellingers after yesterday's meeting that the information let them more disturbed and not reassured about rice's benghazi comments that which portrayed the a tack as a demonstration that spun out of control. cia director mike morrell with rice for the meetings
angered john mccain, lindsey graham and kelly ayotte for her initial comments made on several tv networks that seemed to play down the role of al qaeda terrorists on the attack in benghazi, libya. that attack killed four americans, including u.s. ambassador chris stevens. rice maintains that she made it very clear, the intelligence information she had at the time was preliminary. senators are threatening to block her nomination if president obama chooses her to be his next secretary of state. >>> president obama and vice president joe biden will meet with mexico's president-elect today. pena kneeate toe has a new message. in an editorial in "the washington post" he said the u.s./mexico relations need to go beyond drugs and security concerns. topping his list, deepening economic ties with the united states. >>> the remains of former palestinian leader yasser arafat were exhumed this morning from a mausoleum in the west bank. many palestinians believe that arafat was poisoned by israel when he died in 2004. now, an international team of scientists will analyze tissue samples to see if they
cain, lindsey graham, kelly ayotte say they are more troubled now than before they had that meeting and all indications are they are still against the president's nominating rice for secretary of state. >> we are significantly troubled by many of the answers that we got and some that we didn't get. bottom line, i'm more disturbed now than i was before. >> apparently she misled the american public. i think that she would say that. she'd have to say that. >> cnn foreign affairs reporter elise labott is live in washington. really nice to see you elise. why are rice's critics saying they are more concerned now? >> well, zoraida, they're concerned because it turns out that there was some information in classified settings that ambassador rice told the senators about that did indicate that al qaeda possibly was involved, that this could be a terrorist attack. and when she sat down with those senators yesterday, what she said was that there were unclassified talking points provided by the cia that just talked about this so-called spontaneous protest. but at the same time, ambassador rice, as a mem
with the acting director of the cia and ambassador rice. >> reporter: both senator kelly ayotte and senator lindsey graham threatened to block rice's nomination. rice did persuade one senator. >> she said what she believed was true, and she was under no political influence from the white house. >> reporter: but joe lieberman is quitting the senate and won't have a vote rice and president obama are closer than he and the iconic hillary clinton. the president has made it clear he will fight for rice and tuesday the white house was not backing down. >> the focus on, some might say obsession on comments made on sunday shows, seems to me and to many to be misplaced. >> reporter: one veteran former diplomat says rice should not be made a scapegoat for doing her job. >> she was simply representing the viewpoint of an entire administration, and many of us have been in positions of defending administrations, republican and democrat in the past. >> reporter: and there's still another problem now. the acting cia director who accompanied rice late tuesday acknowledged that he had misspoken during his m
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